Committing To Unlearn Patterns Run In The Family

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Story by Anonymous

It wouldn't be surprising to say that growing up I've rarely looked up to the thought and behavior patterns exhibited by my parents. So it certainly disillusioned me when I recognized exhibiting the same patterns myself for the first time.

Whenever it comes to dealing with problems, my dad’s first instinct would be to either freak out, get angry, yell or get scared; he gets angry in places he can and if he can't, he gets scared. He prefers going for walks and avoiding confrontation all together instead of talking about it. When I was in 10th grade, my parents went without saying a word to each other for six months because he wasn’t willing to talk.

I see myself picking this from him and I have to consciously choose to respond to certain situations differently. I've seen my dad be impatient so often that now whenever I have to, let’s say, teach my parents something, it makes me agitated and restless.

Since childhood, I have learned to look at my academic achievements which reflect on my worth through their eyes. I have internalized their reaction to my results as being inadequate and a major screw-up irrespective of scoring above 90%.

I remember specifically the evening after the 10th grade result came out and my mom and dad were talking on the phone about how disappointed they were.

I couldn't take it and I just went into the shower and sat under the cold water for half an hour or so but my mom kept screaming outside. So I came out in a towel and I was just sitting on the bed and she kept yelling and I kept crying in my towel for a long time.

My dad didn't come home that night. He came around 5 am next morning and I remember waking up around that time and writing about how I didn't want to live.

I hadn’t disappointed them then. I just became a disappointment.

My parents have also never attempted to discuss sexuality with me and now I feel like I have learned homophobia and internalized it. Even though I would like to identify myself as queer as of now, it has kept me from actively talking about it in my social circles.

When I told my mom about considering therapy, she told me that why should she go to therapy when it is someone else who has subjected her to trauma, but I would like to work on myself and process this instead of looking for excuses to fall back in the same pointless patterns.

There have also been times when I believed I would no doubt handle a situation better than my mom does. When I was young, I told her about being touched nonconsensually and her response was not exactly favorable and aiding. So I assured myself that I would be more considerate and supportive to someone confiding in me about a similar situation.

However, only recently when someone shared a similar instance with me, I freaked out and was just as confused as my mom. When I see these reflections that I thought I was too "woke" to take over me, it feels scary, as if I've been living a different reality.

I have been able to discuss about my parents and the things I pick from them in my social circles now. I would like to be open minded about discovering these patterns outside my realm of consciousness too, I would not wish to believe that my way is the only right way.

Nevertheless, I feel validated and hopeful about my future relationships when I choose to confront these patterns. As a successive generation, I see this need to evolve and be more mindful, I cannot let these patterns be a part of my parenthood in the future.

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